ICYMI: Lummis, Cramer: The European Union Wants to Tax American Producers; Here’s How We Can Protect Our Industries

February 9, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) recently wrote an op-ed published in the Epoch Times about protecting our domestic energy and manufacturing industries from a carbon tax.    

Click here to find the full op-ed or read the full text below.    

The European Union Wants to Tax American Producers; Here’s How We Can Protect Our Industries  
The Epoch Times      

For decades, the United States has identified itself as a leader in energy production and innovation, embracing a multi-faceted approach to powering not only our nation but the world and setting a global standard for clean energy. As senators hailing from strong coal, oil and natural gas producing states, we are proud of the unimpeachable standards our producers have set, and it is our responsibility to ensure our nation’s energy and manufacturing industries are not unjustly penalized by the European Union (E.U.) — and robbed of the ability to grow.      

Since President Biden was sworn into office, we watched this administration repeatedly hand down onerous regulations which have crippled our domestic energy production. From shuttering the Keystone XL Pipeline on his first day in office, to halting U.S. Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) exports and beefing up permitting roadblocks, this administration has surrendered to climate change extremists at the expense of our producers, opting to push untenable energy policies instead of using America’s high standard as a model for the world to emulate. Now more than ever, we need commonsense legislation to fast track American energy production and make it easier to remain a global leader. This means taking a proactive approach to deals with foreign nations and being prepared to refute exaggerated statistics that may be used to charge exorbitant tariffs or bow out of a contract with American companies. 

In 2020, the French utility Engie, which is partially owned by the French government, cancelled contract negotiations for U.S. LNG claiming it was dirty, ultimately opting for supplies from Russia and Algeria. Ultimately, amid the war in Ukraine, Engie reversed its decision and re-signed contracts for U.S. LNG recognizing American companies’ environmental leadership. Data from a Department of Energy (DOE) study was used to show U.S. LNG is 40% less carbon intensive than even piped Russian natural gas.     

Recently, in the Environment and Public Works Committee, we voted in support of the Providing Reliable, Objective, Verifiable Emissions Intensity and Transparency (PROVE It) Act of 2023, legislation authorizing the DOE to publish a study of the comparative average emissions intensity of covered products from certain countries. This data will be used to protect America’s manufacturers and producers, hopefully preventing what happened with Engie from happening again. We recognize the devastating blow a regressive domestic carbon tax would deal to our producers already grappling with this administration’s assault on domestic energy, which is why this bill expressly states it will not lead to a carbon tax. Rather, it arms the U.S. with the data we need to shield our industries from unfair tariffs and taxes. Moreover, this legislation positions U.S.-based companies to earn more business from global allies without granting any federal agency the authority “to impose, collect or enforce a greenhouse gas emissions tax, fee, duty, price or charge.” That is a direct quote from the PROVE IT Act, not political spin or jargon.        

Our states set the bar for responsible energy production, and we need to be ready to defend our industries from unfair tariffs based off data the E.U. is already collecting to enforce a carbon border adjustment mechanism in 2026. We cannot defer to the Europeans to do our math for us when they are calculating taxes on our manufacturing and energy industries. We must have our own reliable data to fight back. It is in our self-interest to be proactive against any tariff levied on American competitiveness. Right now, we are sitting ducks and when American producers and manufacturers get hit with a European tax in two years, they will look to us. PROVE IT is a chance to be prepared. As we keep fighting against the Biden administration’s war on domestic energy production, we must use every tool we have available to promote American producers and ensure we remain well-positioned to continue setting the standard for unparalleled global energy production.